I’m going to be honest with you: if you don’t have a website you don’t exist. Or at least marketing yourself is going to be more difficult. If you don’t have a website, you can even be listed in the teacher directory.
Fortunately, getting a website can be pretty easy. Your website does not have to be complicated or flashy. That said, it should still look professional and convey exactly what you do.
I strongly suggest you buy a domain name. www.yourname.com is the best choice. yournameguitar.com and yournamemusic.com (or .net) would also be good choices. A domain is your piece of online real estate, and you want to own it.
All the services I’m listing here today will give you a domain like yourname.wordpress.com or yourname.weebly.com. Please don’t do that. Spend the $10 a year it costs to have a domain of your own. Every service listed here also makes it easy for you to buy a domain through them, and the first two offer free hosting.
I love Weebly. It’s more geared towards people who want to build websites and not just blogs.
In a sense everything I recommend here today is a content management system (CMS) — something that you can log into to manage your website without having to edit the code. Weebly is a drag and drop CMS. No coding required at all. If you’re new to the web world, this is probably your best option.
Weebly has a lot of preloaded templates that you can choose from. They’ll also help you buy a domain. The hosting (making your site visible, or storing your files on their server) is free, but Weebly puts a link in your website’s footer.
Blogger is not exactly an ideal solution for a website. But it’s free, and you can get a domain name through them for $10/year.
That said, Blogger is more for — well, it’s for blogging. Meaning that you end up doing a lot of tweaking to make it look like a typical website and not a blog. Can it be done? Yes. Here’s a quick example that I just put together. If you’re new to the web world, and don’t want to code, Blogger is a good option.
If you’re more familiar with html/CSS, WordPress is a good option. WordPress is less drag and drop, but still a solid bit of software. In fact, it’s what powers the Classical Guitar Blog.
This option, however, is the most expensive. WordPress is software that installs on your server. Meaning that you have to have hosting to use it (there is a free version at wordpress.com). That means you’re looking at about $100/year in hosting and domain name fees.
But, using this option means you have complete control over your site. You’re not dependent on the limitations of a drag and drop service. And if you know html/css and a bit of PHP you can do a lot of customization.
WordPress can work for you if you don’t know code, however. The cool thing about wordpress is the huge community that surrounds it. There are plugins and themes galore — chances are if you want to do something, there’s a wordpress plugin that will do it for you. Also all pages/posts in wordpress can be edited in a what-you-see-is-what-you-get editor.
There’s No Excuse to Not Have a Website
Seriously. It’s easy, cheap and you need one. Maybe even more than one (or two … or three).